Ryanair Announces Cutbacks to Routes Due to Rising Taxes
November 30th, 2012
Ryanair announced yesterday that they are to cease operating 13 routes from Madrid and 4 from Barcelona during the next summer season as a result of the Spanish Airports Group, Aena’s, increase in airport taxes.
During a press conference on the airline’s future operations, Ryanair’s Vice President, Michael Cawley, announced that with these cancellations, and the reduction in frequency of the routes which they will continue to operate, the low-cost airline will reduce their traffic in Madrid Barajas Airport by 35% and in Barcelona El Prat by 23%.
In total Ryanair will reduced its traffic in Spain by 12%, compared to the last summer season. The company are to withdraw five aircraft, representing 648 flights weekly and the loss of 4.5 million passengers.
The Vice President of the company justified the cancellations by saying “our passengers will not pay more because Aena is bankrupt”. He went on to criticise the Spanish airport operator for building terminals that “were not necessary” and also said that “the taxes in Madrid and Barcelona represent four times what we are paying at other airports. As clients of Aena we have been paying €200 million up to last year. Now we’re going to save about €25 million in rates increases”. Cawley did add that the decision of the airline is “reversible” but that this measure will take effect from 30th March next year, unless “the airport operator imposes the same rates as before”.
According to El Mundo, the Ryanair Vice President was also keen to discount any link between the cancellation of routes and the economic situation and pointed out that the planes which Ryanair withdraw from Spain will begin to operate at other airports. “We are growing in countries with greater problems, such as Greece, Portugal and Italy,” he said.
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